MATHEW WAGNER - Thursday, December 18, 2014
A pair of German-American defenders took part in a spectacular match in Frankfurt, while Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt added to their lead atop the 2.Bundesliga.
Eintracht Frankfurt 4 - 4 Hertha BSC
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha BSC blew a three-goal lead and had to settle for a tie with Tim Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday.
Chandler started and went the full 90 minutes at right back for the Adler, while Brooks went the distance at center back for the Old Lady and recorded his fourth yellow card of the season.
Although Hertha started the match with just 24 percent possession during the first 20 minutes, it was the Old Lady that opened the scoring in the 21st minute. Off a free kick from distance by Ronny, Brooks left his marker in the dust and redirected the ball into the back of the net with an eight-yard shot in the middle of the box.
That goal galvanized the Berliners, and they showed their dominance of the first half with another two goals in a five-minute span. The first came in the 33rd minute off a Ronny corner, as Anis Ben Hatira met the ball near the left post and headed it just inside the right post to double Berlin's then.
Then, in the 37th minute, Julian Schieber scored his scored goal in as many matches following a bad giveaway in the midfield by Frankfurt. Ben-Hatira ended up with the ball on the right wing during the break, and he crossed to Schieber, who hit the ball with the back of his right heel. With a little help from a deflection by a Frankfurt defender, the ball rolled into the back of the net.
The offensive fireworks in the first half weren't done just yet, as in the 43rd minute, Frankfurt pulled one back. Off a throw-in, Haris Seferovic crossed from the left near the end line to Stefan Aigner, who, unmarked, headed the ball easily into the back of the net.
In the second half, Eintracht turned the tables in search of a comeback, and in the 58th minute, the Adler found themselves down just one goal thanks to a Seferovic goal. The Swiss attacker placed himself in the hole between Brooks and left back Nico Schultz, and he headed home a short cross from Makoto Hasebe.
Hertha seemed to put the match to bed in the 80th minute, as Ben-Hatira launched a free kick to Peter Niemeyer, whose right-footed shot found the back of the net. Hertha coach Jos Luhukay made a defensive substitution right after that, however, bringing in center back Sebastian Langkamp for Schieber, and that decision came back to haunt him in the closing minutes.
Just when all was lost for the Adler, they managed to pull off two goals in the closing minutes to steal a point. The first came in the 90th minute when Anderson helped Takashi Inui cross along to Alexander Meier, who headed the ball into the back of the net. Then, in the second minute of stoppage time, Meier found himself with a ton of space in the middle of the box and box Hertha goalkeeper Thomas Kraft.
With the tie, Frankfurt dropped into ninth place, and the Adler next play Leverkusen on Saturday. Hertha, meanwhile, stayed in 13th place, and the team hosts Hoffenheim in its last match of 2014.
FC Ingolstadt 04 2 - 1 FC St. Pauli
Alfredo Morales and Ingolstadt clinched the title of Herbstmeister of the 2.Bundesliga with a home win over St. Pauli on Friday.
Morales started and went the distance in central midfield for the Schanzer.
While St. Pauli began the match creating better chances offensively, it was the home team and leader of the German second tier that found the back of the net first. In the 22nd minute, Morales passed to Matthew Leckie in the 18-yard box, and the Australian's shot deflected off Lasse Sobiech and into the left corner of the net.
The rest of the first half passed without much of note, but following the restart, the match picked up in intensity, especially from the home team. Still, it took until the 78th minute for another goal, this time for the Buccaneers. Off a corner, the ball pinballed around in the box before falling to Sebastian Schachten, who poked the ball over the line.
The Schanzer needed just 101 seconds to retake the lead, and the goal proved to be the match-winner. Schachten made a grave error trying to head away a ball, with it falling instead to Pascal Gross. Gross proceeded to dribble through the Buccaneer defense slalom-style before firing his shot past St. Pauli goalkeeper Robert Himmelmann and into the back of the net.
With the win, Ingolstadt increased its lead atop the 2.Bundesliga to seven points, and the Schanzer finish 2014 on Sunday against Darmstadt.
Julian Green didn't dress for Hamburg's 1-0 loss to Stuttgart at home on Tuesday.
Recovering from the flu, Fabian Johnson was an unused substitute in Moenchengladbach's 4-1 win over Werder Bremen on Wednesday.
Bobby Wood wasn't in the lineup for 1860 Munich during the Sechziger's 1-1 tie with Kaiserslautern on Wednesday.
Andrew Wooten did not make the 18 for Sandhausen when the Hardtwaelder lost to Darmstadt at home on Wednesday, 2-1.
Terrence Boyd's long-term injury kept him out of Leipzig's goalless draw in Aalen on Wednesday.